In the Chinese zodiac, every year corresponds to both an animal and an elemental energy. There are twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, boar) and five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal). This year on January 23, 2012, we entered the year of the Water Dragon.

Astrological influences on dreams

As a dreamer, I have been trained by indigenous elders to observe how the solar, lunar and planetary cycles affect my dream state. For example, many of us are aware of how a full moon can influence our dreams.  In general, dreaming tends to be enhanced around the full moon, and full moon dreams tend to be more vivid and intense.

In addition, the position of the moon in the zodiac can also influence the dream state. For example, I have noticed that my most intense sexual dreams occur when the moon is in Scorpio.  Sex and reproductive energy are both ruled by Scorpio, as well as mysteries, secrets, the occult and death.

In many indigenous calendar systems, including those of the Maya, the Mexica and the Hopi, this year of 2012 is prophesized to be very powerful and transformative.  As we move into 2012, and experience the influence of the Water Dragon, I have already begun to notice how dragon energy is appearing in people’s dreams.

Energetic Manifestation of the Water Dragon

According to Asian tradition, dragons symbolized power, good fortune and creativity. In his recent Chinese Astrology forecast, Taoist master Liu Ming described that the energy of this Water Dragon year will feel like a tidal wave.  The year will have the powerful qualities of the dragon, but with a watery twist.

I am curious about how the Water Dragon will manifest energetically in dreams, as well in waking life.  I have already observed that the dragon energy can manifest in dreams without an actual dragon appearing in the dream itself.

For example, a few nights before the Chinese New Year I had this dream:

I am with my friends Heidi and Marcela.  We are walking on a hilly path that looks like the landscape of Maui.

Unexpectedly, the path turns into a slide and we start descending downhill quickly. But then, we are moving like a rollercoaster, up and down, faster and faster.   It feels both exhilarating and intense

Suddenly, the path dumps us into the ocean.  We are now underwater, in a long clear glass tube.  I can see fish and huge sea creatures on either side of me, but we are moving too fast to identify anything.  I think I see a shark, but everything is blurry.

Abruptly, we are catapulted out of the tube and land back on shore.  “What a fun and wild ride!” I think to myself.

About a week after having this dream, I met with my friend Heidi who had attended the Chinese Astrology forecast for the year of the Water Dragon with Liu Ming.

When Heidi described to me the energy of this year, I immediately thought of my dream. The energy in the dream was big, fast, intense, watery, exciting— all qualities of a water dragon year. The energy in the dream moved in wave-like undulations, just as if we had been riding on an invisible dragon.

Heidi, Marcela and I started a non-profit organization five years ago called Circle of Ancestors.  As a non-profit we have grown very slowly over the years.  However, if this dream is correct, 2012 may be a very expansive year for our organization!

Emotional Manifestations of the Water Dragon

This past week, I have observed another characteristic of the Water Dragon energy that has manifested in people’s dream states. On Sunday night, my partner had an intense dream in which she woke up sobbing. The dream is too personal to relate here, but what struck me was the raw emotion of grief that was released through her dream.

A few days later I was meeting with my dream buddy Erin. As we shared our dreams, I mentioned my partner’s dream experience. Synchronistically, Erin shared that a few days ago she also had a powerful dream in which she woke up crying. She wept as well as the wrote the dream down.

That same day, I got home and received an email from a student of mine telling me about last night’s dream. She wrote: “I had a crazy vivid dream about Oscar Grant.*  I was crying so hard in the dream and woke up crying.”

These three emotionally intense dreams all happened within days of each other. From a perspective of indigenous science, three is an important number when gathering spiritual data.  When a pattern, message, or symbol repeats three times, this is called triangulation.

As someone who hears a lot of people’s dreams, I can say that dreams that wake people up crying are infrequent, and it is even more unusual that it would happen to three people that I know in one week.

In indigenous science, we are trained to observe and interpret the language of the universe. “All the universe is intelligent and alive,” says my mentor Dr. Apela Colorado.  Dreams carry messages from the universe and common themes in dreams are important to observe.

My interpretation of these three dreams is that they relate to the energy of the Water Dragon. The emotional intensity of these dreams reminds me of the intensity of the water dragon, the “big tidal wave of energy.”

Also, water often symbolizes emotions. Sadness and grief, which release the body’s own water in the form of tears, are the most watery of the emotions.

So, as we move boldly into this big Water Dragon year of 2012, I suggest that we all notice how this particular cosmic energy is influencing our dreams.

Take note of dream themes of water, floods, tidal waves, or dreams which seem emotionally or energetically big and intense.

As the year unfolds, we will most likely observe many more Water Dragon themes in the dream collective.

How is the Water Dragon manifesting in your dreams?

How does the energy of the Water Dragon change as we progress through the cycles and seasons of this year?

*Oscar Grant was a young African-American man who was restrained, shot and murdered by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on January 1, 2009.  Mersherle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to only two years in prison.